San Diego Child Custody in Military Divorce Lawyers
Members of the military face several challenges in child custody and visitation. For the healthy development and wellbeing of a child, both parents should be involved in raising and caring for their children. However, the absences related to training and deployments pose a unique set of problems in raising children. When one or both parents serve in the military and are getting divorced, it is necessary to establish a “family care plan” with assistance from an experienced child custody lawyer.
A member of the armed forces may want to seek custody of a child (or children). The custody case is often complicated by the military obligations of the parent. Members of the military have every right to seek custody of a child, and it may a crucial factor in the wellbeing of the child. While parenting is one of the most important responsibilities in a lifetime, military service always takes priority in planning.
The family care plan established must consider the care of the child under several circumstances, whether an overseas assignment, deployment for months or longer, or other responsibilities, duties, and requirements as demanded by the military.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects the parental rights of parents who are called to active duty. Under the Act, a parent has the right to a 90-day stay (postponement) of court proceedings. A call to active duty can interfere with a pending child custody case. In some cases, based on the situation, the postponement of proceedings could be longer, at the discretion of the court.
If a child custody order has been issued by the court, it will be reinstated within a specific timeframe upon the return of the parent, unless the other parent can provide proof that this arrangement would not serve the best interests of the child. A deployed member of the military also has the right to allow the visitation rights awarded by the court to be delegated to another person. In many cases, grandparents, siblings, or other family members take on this responsibility when the service member is out of the country or performing any military duty that affects parenting time.
When making a decision regarding child custody, the court will evaluate several factors. All decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. The factors that will be reviewed by the court include:
- The current living situation of each parent.
- The age of the child.
- The relationships between parents and child.
- Issues such as alcohol or drug abuse.
- Issues related to domestic violence of any type.
- Where each parent lives, whether locally or in another country.
When one or both parents serve in the military, a divorce can have added complexities. In an ideal world, the two parents would work together to establish a family care plan, but this may not be possible when the divorce is contentious.
Whether you are involved in an amicable split, or are planning to seek custody of a child, the quality, experience, and knowledge of your divorce lawyer is of ultimate concern. Not all family law lawyers in San Diego have the breadth of knowledge regarding military divorce and child custody matters that you will find at Mattis Law, A.P.C. The firm tackles difficult cases that many other attorneys may refuse to take on due to lack of experience. For a free case consultation from one of the premier family law firms for members of the military, contact us at (858) 328-4400.